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Guee Handlebar Tape Review

March 14, 2019

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Guee Handlebar Tape Review

Guee SL Handlebar Tape
3.7

Summary

You won’t find anything else out there quite like Guee’s handlebar tape—especially their SL Dual and Geo versions—although you’ll pay a premium to get your hands on some.

  • Comfort
  • Ease of Application
  • Price
  • Road Feel/Responsiveness
  • Overall Value

Pros

  • Looks fantastic and unlike any other handlebar tape currently on the market
  • Easy to apply
  • Three-layer construction offers comfortable cushioning
  • Maintains road feedback in handlebars
  • Super tacky Microtex surface
  • Water and weather resistant

Cons

  • Shipping charges cost almost as much as the handlebar tape itself
  • Performance–although as good as any other polyurethane tape I’ve tried–doesn’t match the overall higher price than competitors
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Here, we’ll talk about my impressions regarding Guee’s SL Geo handlebar tape—everything from unboxing and installation to appearance and performance—and whether or not it’s worth the premium price.


Updated March 15, 2019

About Guee Handlebar Tape

Based out of Taichung, Taiwan, the Guee (pronounced “gooey”) team of mechanical engineers, electronic engineers, and bicycle designers have manufactured premium handlebar tape and other cycling accessories since 2011.

Specifically, the designs and graphics found with theirSL and Sio bar tapes stand out among much of the relatively bland competition. And they don’t just look good—Guee emphasizes their handlebar tape is durable and high-functioning as well.

In fact, it’s this design approach that drew me toward Guee’s handlebar tape in the first. So much so, that I was willing to pay ridiculous shipping charges just to get my hands on some.

Was it worth it? Here, I’ll outline what I learned so you can make a more informed decision. First, though, let’s take a high-level look at Guee’s handlebar tape lineup.

Which Kinds of Bar Tape Does Guee Offer?

Overall, Guee manufactures four tape models between two different series.

Guee SL Series

Made from a blend of polyurethane and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), Guee’s SL (Super Light) handlebar tape represents their premiere, high-durability series, which features a patented triple layer design:

  1. The Microtex surface is tactile and extremely grippy for superb steering control from start to finish, while delivering tear-resistant durability. Guee advertises it’s also highly resistant to sweat and climate changes, while remaining comfortable and breathable.
  2. A tough middle layer with a tensioned structure that increases durability, makes wrapping easier, and helps the tape remain in place once it’s on.
  3. A high-density base that cushions by absorbing and dispersing shock.
Guee’s SL handlebar tape features a three-layer design comprising a Microtex top layer, a tensioned middle layer, and a cushioned bottom. Credit: Guee

Together, Guee tells us that their SL handlebar tape is so effective and comfortable that you can go glove-free.

While they all feature this triple-layer construction, as well as the same 2,150 mm long x 30 mm wide x 3 mm measurements, the company offers three SL handlebar tape models: Dual, which has a two-color ‘dot’ design, Geo, with its geometrically patterned colors, and the single-color One.

The website indicates Dual and One weigh in at 56 grams per pair (excluding the high-quality lock-tight end plugs), while Geo is slightly heavier at 60 grams per pair.

Guee’s SL Geo (left), Dual (center), and One (right) tapes. Credit: Guee

Guee Sio Series

Guee’s Sio handlebar tape series is crafted from 100% eco-friendly silicone and engineered with a special German in-mold foaming process they advertise delivers a high level of dampening and shock absorption.

Silicone’s natural water-resistant properties also means that this line repels sweat and water, stands up against the elements, is UV and heat-resistant, non-toxic, and stays cleaner for longer.

Furthermore, silicone’s tacky nature makes the Sio series tape re-wrappable multiple times, without backing or leaving adhesive behind on your handlebars.

Sio measures 1,680mm long, 31 mm wide, and 2.6 mm thick and weighs 140 grams per pair, while Dura is longer at 1,850 mm and thicker at 3 mm, since it’s intended to accommodate wider handlebars.

As with their SL series, Guee’s Sio handlebar tape comes with deluxe end plugs and finishing tape.

Overall, Guee advertises their durable Sio series offers the perfect solution for triathlon, cyclocross, and long distance and endurance cycling.

Guee’s Dura (left) and Sio (right) silicone handlebar tapes. Credit: Guee

Here’s a quick table outlining the high-level differences between each Guee handlebar tape model:

Bar Tape MSRP Weight (Pair) Dimensions Materials
SL Geo $36.95 60 g Length: 2,150 mm, Width: 30 mm, Thickness: 3 mm Polyurethane/ EVA
SL Dual $33.95 56 g Length: 2,150 mm, Width: 30 mm, Thickness: 3 mm Polyurethane/ EVA
SL One $29.95 56 g Length: 2,150 mm, Width: 30 mm, Thickness: 3 mm Polyurethane/ EVA
Sio Dura $39.99 165 g Length: 1,850 mm, Width: 31 mm, Thickness: 3 mm Silicone
Sio $39.99 140 g Length: 1,680mm, Width: 31 mm, Thickness: 2.6 mm Silicone

How Much Does Guee Handlebar Tape Cost?

If purchased directly from Guee, their handlebar tape is priced as follows:

  • SL Geo (white/blue, white/red, white/gray, black/blue, black/red, and black/green): $36.95
  • SL Duo (red, blue, white, orange, celeste green, green, yellow, grey, pink): $33.95
  • SL One (black only): $29.95
  • Sio Dura (black, white, red, blue, green, pink, yellow, orange): $39.99
  • Sio Silicone (black, white, red, blue, orange, green, yellow, pink): $39.69

Important: This is in addition to a flat rate shipping charge of $23.36.

As of this writing, Amazon also sells Guee’s Dual tape only for $62.69.

Guee offers a 7-day refund policy for faulty, incorrect, or unwanted items on all direct purchases, although they emphasize products “must be unused and in the condition you received them in. Additionally, they must be in their original, unmarked box and packaging.”

Guee also backs their handlebar tape with a 12-month warranty against manufacturer defects.

My Experience With Guee Handlebar Tape

Mind the Shipping Charges

I ordered Guee’s SL Geo handlebar tape in their black/blue color scheme, which arrived quickly inside a padded envelope. The attractive, well-designed box was also surrounded by bubble wrap for added protection.

Although, considering that I paid nearly $25 in shipping charges, I might expect a little extra something for the money. But, hey—good style often costs good money, right?

Despite several spelling and grammatical errors on the box, Guee’s SL Geo handlebar tape arrived well-packaged with extra protection against damage.

Parts & Installation

Overall, I found Guee’s SL Geo tape as easy to install as any other polyurethane handlebar tape with an adhesive backing. It stretches just enough to help you wrap tightly, but not as much as silicone tape.

I was initially concerned that it would be difficult to line up the geometric pattern so that it looked consistent. As long as I maintained the same distance with each revolution, though, I didn’t encounter any problems.

I’m appreciative that Guee includes spare tape strips to help cover the natural gap behind and underneath brake hoods, which isn’t something offered by every manufacturer. I also think the hex bar ends deliver a much cleaner look than ones you pop into place.

Here’s one half of my bars wrapped in Guee’s GL Geo tape, with the other half still to go. Overall, installation wasn’t any different than similar tape from competitors.

My Thoughts About Appearance

While design is certainly subjective, I think the SL Geo’s unique geometric design is unlike any other tape I’ve seen—in fact, it was the deciding factor behind my choice to pay exhorbitant shipping charges.

Once wrapped to the bars, it looks super sharp, though, and is very eye-catching. I imagine the black Microtex on top and in the middle of the drops will hide stains very well, while the blue and black geometric pattern adds pops of color.

In these close-ups, you can see just how much the SL Geo’s color pops against the black background, with the premium bar ends offering a nice finishing touch.

My First Impressions About Performance

So far, I’ve only had the opportunity to log about 40 miles on Guee’s SL Geo bar tape, although it’s already clear that the outer layer of Microtex is extraordinarily grippy and tactile.

So much so, that I frequently felt my hands moving inside my gloves, while the palm of my gloves remained firmly in place. I generally prefer this setup, although I imagine going gloveless with these wouldn’t be a problem at all.

The SL’s Microtex is also quite firm, but provides just enough shock absorption to keep things comfortable and still maintain sufficient feedback from my handlebars.

I haven’t noticed any immediate markings or signs of wear after this limited mileage, which isn’t something I’ve always experienced with third-party tape. I’ll make sure to update this section after I’ve had the opportunity to log a few hundred miles more.

After about 40 miles, I’ve found Guee’s SL bar tape is tacky, comfortable, and responsive. I’ll provide updates regarding durability as I log additional miles.

Coming to a Conclusion About Guee Handlebar Tape

While we only tested their SL Geo version, based on what we learned from their website, Guee’s handlebar tape seems to provide many of the same essential features as other polyurethane and silicone offerings from third-party manufacturers, and at a competitive MSRP.

In fact, based on my limited time with their SL tape, I’m definitely interested in giving their silicone model a try for comparison.

However, once you factor in shipping costs, which are almost as much as the tape itself, Guee is significantly more expensive than competing models from popular premium brands like Cinelli, Lizard Skins, Fizik, Supacaz, and Arundel, to name just a few.

In fact, in some instances, you could purchase two sets of handlebar tape from competitors for the same price as one of Guee’s. Perhaps this will change if and when the company contracts with a US-based distributor to make their shipping costs competitive (note: We reached out to the company, who advised they’re actively searching).

In the meantime, the bottom line is that if you place a lot of emphasis on uniquely designed handlebar tape that not many other cyclists have, I think Guee’s SL Geo fits the bill perfectly. However, there’s no getting around the fact that you’ll have to pay a premium to do so.

Make sure to bookmark this page and I’ll update once I’ve logged more miles!

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Derek is an avid cyclist with more than two decades of experience in the sport, and currently resides in Denver, Colorado. He enjoys all types, including road, MTB, cyclocross/gravel, commuting, and touring. When he's not writing reviews and guides related to bike accessories, parts, and gear for TreadBikely.com, he's riding, talking about cycling, or thinking about bikes he can't afford. #rolloutblissout
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